What are Tangible Outputs in Project Management
In project management, tangible outputs are the physical or digital objects and products that result from the completed project activities. They’re the concrete, “touchable” evidence of all the hard work and resources invested in the project.
Here are some key characteristics of tangible outputs:
- Measurable and verifiable: These outputs can be objectively assessed, either quantitatively (e.g., number of units produced) or qualitatively (e.g., meeting specific performance criteria).
- Independent of interpretation: Unlike intangible outcomes like increased knowledge or improved morale, tangible outputs are straightforward and can be understood by anyone who examines them.
- Directly delivered: They are the specific products or deliverables outlined in the project plan and agreed upon with stakeholders.
Tangible Outputs – Examples
Completed Building: The most obvious tangible output of a construction project is the finished structure itself, whether it’s a new office building, a residential complex, or a bridge.
Software Development Project
Released Software Application: This could be a mobile app, a website, or a desktop program. The final, functional software is the key deliverable for any software development project.
Printed Marketing Materials: Brochures, flyers, and posters are all tangible outputs of a marketing campaign. These materials can be used to promote products, services, or events.
Published Paper or Report: The findings of a research project are often shared in the form of a written paper or report. This document serves as a tangible record of the research conducted and the conclusions reached.
Developed Training Manual: A training manual is a step-by-step guide that can be used to train employees on new skills or processes. It’s a valuable resource that can be used long after the training project is completed.
Event Management Project
Event Photos and Videos: Capturing the event through photos and videos allows you to share the experience with those who couldn’t attend and serves as a valuable documentation for future reference.
Product Development Project
Physical Prototype: Before a product is mass-produced, it’s often tested and refined through the creation of prototypes. These tangible models allow for feedback and adjustments before the final product is released.
Website Design Project
Launched Website: The final, live website is the tangible output of a website design project. This is the culmination of all the planning, designing, and development work that went into the project.
Data Analysis Project
Interactive Dashboard: Data analysis projects often result in the creation of dashboards that visualize and track key metrics. These dashboards provide a clear and accessible way to understand the data and make informed decisions.
Social Impact Project
Built Community Garden: A community garden is a tangible output of a social impact project that provides fresh produce, educational opportunities, and a sense of community for residents.
These are just a few examples of the many tangible outputs that can be produced through project management. By clearly defining and measuring your project’s tangible outputs, you can effectively track progress, demonstrate success, and communicate the value of your work to stakeholders.
It’s important to remember that while tangible outputs are crucial for demonstrating project success, they don’t tell the whole story. Intangible outcomes like increased efficiency, improved employee skills, or positive customer feedback also play a vital role in the overall project impact.
Tangible Outputs – 3 Additional Points
- Variety of forms: Tangible outputs can come in different shapes and sizes, ranging from physical products to digital files.
- Value beyond cost: While cost is often a factor, the true value of a tangible output should be determined by its contribution to the project’s overall goals.
- Change over time: Some outputs may be delivered once and remain static, while others may be continually updated or improved upon.
By clearly defining and measuring your project’s tangible outputs, you can effectively track progress, demonstrate success, and communicate the value of your work to stakeholders.